Letter to the editor: CAS negotiations
With negotiations stumbling on for Contract Academic Staff (CAS), it has made me pause and consider the startling inequity that exists on campus.
If I were a student, I would assume that the university employs quality, superior instructors to deliver courses. I wouldn’t know, as a first-year student, the difference between a CAS instructor and a full-time instructor. That is, until I need them outside of the classroom.
Students deserve the same access and level of commitment, regardless the “status” of the instructor (contract or full-time). How can an atmosphere of trust and commitment exist when CAS have to live from term to term, not knowing if they’ll receive any teaching assignments?
The university aims to deliver quality education. Students are charged the same price for each class, yet one set of instructors is paid at an abominable rate, without benefits (they receive a small percentage of their wage in lieu of benefits). The difference between wages can be tens of thousands of dollars.
If Laurier truly stands behind its motto: “Leading lives of leadership and purpose,” it will address the inequity. It will give Contract Academic Staff, who have dedicated themselves to teaching Laurier students, the ability to live above the poverty line. It will ensure that CAS members have access to critical medical benefits such as prescriptions and dental needs. Laurier should stop treating CAS as disposable and show a commitment to these outstanding instructors.
The university exists for the students. Our Laurier students deserve the best. Their future should not be hindered in any way because of the status of their instructor.
In my humble opinion,
Sandra Dalpe, administrative assistant, sociology